Interview

Diane Bergeron

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Friday 13th January 2012

Interior by Diane Bergeron

Interior by Diane Bergeron

Interior by Diane Bergeron

Interior by Diane Bergeron

Ooh it is a bit exciting interviewing Diane Bergeron –  she seems a bit famous!  Having said that, I think anyone who moves from NYC to Melbourne is pretty much a celebrity.  :)

Diane Bergeron is an incredible interior designer with over 20 years experience in her field. After many years building a stellar reputation whilst based in New York, Diane moved to Melbourne with her Australian partner and their children, and launched her interior design consultancy here.  It wasn’t long before she established a local following and the Australian press caught on – Diane Bergeron Interiors has since been featured in numerous publications including Vogue LivingBelleInside Out, Australian House & Garden and Australian Home Beautiful.

Diane says her design philosophy is based on ‘timeless elegance and bold self-expression’.  I would say that’s spot on!  As you can see by the fabulous collection of images here, Diane’s work is classic and restrained in many ways, yet very brave when it comes to colour!  To me it’s an elegant decorating style that seems distinctly ‘American’ – reminiscent of all those fab celebrity homes in the Hamptons you often see in international mags!

Massive thanks to Diane for her time with this interview and all the great pics!  More of her wonderful projects and creative inspiration can be seen on her website and blog – I particularly love this cute feature!

Diane Bergeron in her Collingwood studio

Tell us a little about your career background – what path led to interior design initially, and what prompted the move from the US to Melbouurne?

Growing up in Massachusetts in a family of seven, my bedroom was my sanctuary. As a teen, I created my own makeshift furniture, and wallpapered my own room. After studying painting and sculpture, I returned to my preferred medium: Interiors.

My design career continued after relocating from New York to Melbourne. My Australian husband wanted to return here to raise our two daughters.  I love living in Melbourne and am thrilled by the response I’ve had to my work. When we first arrived we found a raw space two-story warehouse in Collingwood to renovate and call home.

In doing so, I found that some of the fabrics, wallpapers and rugs that I liked to use were not yet available here in Australia.  So I decided to open a showroom introducing ranges such as Quadrille & Madeline Weinrib.

Last year, I relinquished the lines to Ascraft as the interior design side of the business was growing rapidly; making it impossible to focus on both the showroom and client work.

Diane’s Melbourne home featuring in Living Etc (I think I may have to pursue this!)

With over 20 years experience in the design industry I imagine you have lots of favourite projects, but can you name one or two you have really loved working on in recent years?  (Would love to see pics of those you mention if possible!)  Would love to know where the homes were and why these projects were particularly satisfying.

It’s thrilling to be able to say that my favourite projects are the most recent. The first is a family beach house in Balnarring. I collaborated with the architect to create an amazing retreat for an extended family.

The other one is a young couple’s first home in Brighton. The challenge was to create a glamorous environment while taking into account the practical needs of a family with three children under the age of five. These projects were both satisfying to work on as the clients granted me total creative control. (Unfortunately these projects were completed just in time for Christmas, and haven’t been photographed yet).

How would you describe your decorating style?  Do you think there is a distinct different between an ‘American’ style of home decoration compared to a typically ‘Australian’ look?

My style is a blend of old-world glamour and chic modern comfort.

I consider my client’s lifestyle needs to create a home that is stylish, relaxed, comfortable and personal.  I don’t follow trends, but prefer to give old classics a new life; keeping the looks fresh and timeless. Each project is completely different, I source the perfect elements the world over to achieve a home with a soul.

I think that American and Australian decorating styles are quite different.  In Australia, where architects do much of the interior design / decorating, the approach is more structured and rule based. Where as in America it’s more fluid, not so serious.

Can you give us a little insight into how Diane Bergeron Interiors operates day to day?  Do you have staff or regular contractors who assist you?  Do you work from an office or home studio?

We’re currently in the process of restructuring, after shifting our focus entirely back to interior design. To keep my vision intact, all creative decisions are made by me personally. Our extra help is hired on a contract basis as needed.

What does a typical day at work involve for you?

I’m up by five most mornings; to make my business calls to America before going into the office. Thankfully, we have an office in Collingwood; walking distance from home. A typical day for me involves site visits, design reviews, putting together design submissions and meetings with clients, architects and contractors.

Which other designers, artists or creative people are you loving at the moment?

Miles Redd, Billy Baldwin, Diana Vreeland, Michelle Adams, Mary McDonald, Celerie Kemble and Albert Hadley.

Can you list for us 5 resources across any media you turn to when in need of a bolt of creative inspiration for a new brief or new project?

LONNY magazine, Domino: The Book of Decorating, Elle Décor, Architectural Digest, Habitually Chic, Ivy & Piper.

Another shot of Diane’s own home

What would be your dream creative project?

My dream project would be total creative freedom to decorate & design a boutique hotel.

What are you looking forward to?

In the New Year we will be photographing projects completed over the past few years for an up-coming book and starting on a few very exciting commercial projects.

Melbourne Questions

You favourite fossicking spots in Melbourne for furniture and home accessories?

Week days are pretty busy with work, leaving little time to shop but If I’m not at our country house on the weekend, I like to get up early and go to Camberwell Market.

What and where was the last great meal you ate in Melbourne?

Late night dinner at The Gertrude Street Enoteca.

Where would we find you on a typical Saturday morning?

Spending time with my family at our country house in Gippsland.

Melbourne’s best kept secret?

The café in Fitzroy Gardens.


by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Friday 13th January 2012

20 comments

  • Jen Henderson 3 years ago

    Great interview Lucy. Love Diane’s work but I think most of all I LOVE Diane’s amazing floor-to-ceiling bookcase! So many books… heaven. x

  • Annie Bowen 3 years ago

    A great post Lucy, loving Diane’s work. Can’t wait to get some time to look through her website. Annie x

  • Kimmy 3 years ago

    stunning, stunning work. Thanks for sharing!

  • Jessica 3 years ago

    Diane is doing some very gorgeous work, loving her style and think the floor to ceiling bookcase in stunning! Great post Lucy!

  • Chelsea Mattner 3 years ago

    LOVE!! Do you have any idea where the bold black and white striped rung is from featured in the bedroom picture? Would love to get my hands on one…

  • I want one of those bookcases too! Great work and a fabulous distinct style. Finally get to find out the source and designer of so many gorgeous rooms that I’ve got bookmarked!

  • Cat 3 years ago

    Great interview and incredible photography…. I’ll have one of each room please!

  • Giselle 3 years ago

    Loving these looks, bold and glamorous. Would love to have a massive home and masses of money so I could get Diane in to unleash her creativity. Since I don’t have the massive home/dough really appreciate the glimpses of style on your blog Lucy. Cheers.

  • Jason & Robyn @ JARO 3 years ago

    Jason and Robyn @ JARO really enjoyed viewing Diane’s work. We loved Diane use of colours and patterns. Oh and the bold bathroom!

  • Annie from habbot 3 years ago

    oh my lord … what an amazing post! Its seeing these sorts of interiors that motivate me to keep working hard so that one day we could have a bit of Diane Bergeron brilliance in our home!! … Imagine a DB designed shoe shop. oh my!

  • Emily 3 years ago

    Almost died whilst reading this, I’m a huge fan of Diane’s work and live in Balnarring. Most people haven’t even heard of Balnarring! I’ll have to befriend the owners of the house and take a look at her brilliant work in the flesh!

  • Hi Chelsea
    The B/W striped rug in the bedroom is from Madeline Weinrib in New York. You can get the same look here from Armadillo & Co – http://www.armadillo-co.com

  • Thanks so much for all the lovely comments.
    Just to let you all know, to celebrate our interview on The Design Files we are giving away a Madeline Weinrib rug on our blog.

    http://dianebergeron.com/interior-design-blog.html

  • Ivy and Piper 3 years ago

    Diane was our cover story back in February 2011. We love her style and uncompromising quality – but she is also just the sweetest person. Great article!

    http://issuu.com/ivyandpiper/docs/ivp_magazine_love_2011

  • Jessamy 3 years ago

    Love that kitchen, love her style!

  • Sparks 3 years ago

    Hi Your space is inspirational. I particularly love the bookcase and your gorgeous library ladder. I am trying to source a library ladder for my sons room. Any tips on where to source one?

    Thanks

  • Miss Polly 3 years ago

    LOVE LOVE her work! I had no idea she had moved/was living in Melbourne. How exciting. Looking forward to seeing much more of her work in design mags and blogs.

  • Lauren 3 years ago

    It’s amazing that Diane’s house is tucked away in old Collingwood, who knew! I often wonder what those amazing warehouse spaces are like inside, high ceilings, industrial details, old timber floors… I’ll keep dreaming!
    Love her work, so full of personality!

  • hans 1 year ago

    Great but when was she born???????????????????????????

  • Courtney 1 year ago

    Can you please let me know where the navy wallpaper with the tan stripe in the bathroom above is from? Thanks so much!!

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